Everything is Going Great

Well sounds like everyone had a pretty good week! Here was also a great week but it was pretty normal. There weren’t really too many huge things going on, but we were able to get some good work done and we had a couple new investigators in church this week! Well one of them was new, Carmen, and the other one, Manuel, wasn’t but it was his first time coming to church since we started teaching them so we were pretty excited about that! Manuel came with his family too and they really liked it! Him and his wife Bianca are really cool people. They are a pretty young couple and have just a couple young kids, and we have actually become pretty good friends with them. They are some of the first people I’ve taught that I’ve actually become good friends with, so that is pretty cool. Carmen is the daughter of Beatriz. She also has 2 small children and she recently separated from her husband because of abuse and came to live with her mom. She is really similar to Beatriz and accepted a baptismal date the first time we taught her this week. It’s kind of interesting because she is different than a lot of people here in that she doesn’t really know if she believes in God, but she does know that something is missing in her life and she definitely felt the Spirit when we went to teach her, so she is very willing to act. I really love this area and I feel like God just keeps on guiding people into our path who are prepared to receive the Gospel. Also, Mom, I have to thank you for the talks and everything you sent. One talk in particular helped me a lot, the one from President Uchtdorf on being Genuine. I was actually already studying the principle of seeing yourself as you really are before you sent me that talk and that talk helped me learn a lot more about the subject, so I know that was inspired. Also, I used that principle to minister to the Elder I went on exchanges with this week and he said to tell you thanks also. I´m glad to know that your health is fine. Well, this week is the leadership council and the zone meeting again, so I guess that means another month has gone by. I feel like time is flying by too fast! I love you all! Have a great week!

Love,

Elder Black

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Beatriz’s baptism

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Celebrated “Independence Day” with his companion.

Beatriz got Baptized

I´m doing pretty good. They didn’t take the stiches out yet because it wasn’t scarred over very well yet. Maybe tomorrow, but it doesn’t hurt anymore at least. To answer some of your questions Mom, we´re not allowed to use gas stoves, so we just use a hotplate, although there is a gas stove in our apartment but it is disconnected. We have warmish water sometimes. Our boiler just doesn’t hardly work. It turns off a lot and just is super old and broken. We try to turn it on in the morning to shower. We eat with the members most days and the food here is usually super good!

Beatriz got baptized on Sunday!!! We are really happy for her, she has really come a long way! Sorry, I forgot my camara today so I’ll send the pictures next week. I feel really lucky because I was here in this area when we found her and made it to see her baptism! That doesn’t happen very often, because usually we get changed before people gets baptized. On Tuesday we had to be home at 6:00 because it was the evening before Independence Day and it is what they call a ´noche libre´ because they police don´t work that day (except for a few of them). So we took advantage and grilled some hamburgers and some Italian dressing marinated chicken! It was super delicious! Faustino is progressing super well still! He has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and he always reads everything we leave him at least once and sometimes reads it a few times! He is one of the most prepared people I’ve ever taught to receive the gospel and I feel really blessed to have the opportunity to teach him. We really didn’t even do anything special to find him, he just moved into a members house and they introduced us one day. I guess God just decided that it was his time. We taught him the Word of Wisdom this week and he told us that he started keeping the Word of Wisdom over 30 years ago, just because it seemed like the thing to do, even though he didn’t know anything about it! Also, we were really happy because Bianca, a less active member whose husband isn’t a member, came to church for the first time in years this week! Her husband, Manuel didn’t come though because he went to work, but I think he will come next week. Anyway everything is going really great here in Cuautitlán, Mexico! I love it here! I hope you all have an awesome week!

Love,

Elder Black

A Night in the Hospital

Yeah, the other package is here, it’s just in the offices still. I had a really crazy week this week. We were actually only able to do proselyting for 2 days this week and also Monday evening. On Wednesday we were busy all day with the district meeting, interviews with the mission president, our monthly meeting with President Titensor and the stake president, and we also went to do cleaning checks with Sister Titensor. Then on Friday, we went over to the hospital so they could check out the spider bite I got (earlier in the week), since it had gotten to be pretty painful by then. We were planning on only being there for 2 or 3 hours but the doctor took one look at it and said I was going to need surgery because it was infected and they needed to drain it and remove the damaged tissue. Well that kind of surprised me a bit! So anyway they took me downstairs and they gave me an epidural shot (that hurt a lot) to numb things up and operated it. And then they decided to keep me there overnight. Actually I was in the recovery room for like 3 and a half hours and I couldn’t feel my right leg, so I got really bored and it was 8:00 by the time they finally took me up to my room. We ended up being there in the hospital for about 28 hours. While they were taking me downstairs when we first got to the hospital and they decided they were going to operate, a recent convert from Izcalli, an area in my zone, saw us and asked if we needed any help. It turns out that we did because the hospital needed to have someone with an ID be  the responsible for the patient and Elder Huxford didn’t have his ID with him so Brother Vargas offered to do it. Then he helped Elder Huxford with the paperwork and took him to eat and everything! So that was a cool little miracle. And he also came the next day and took us home to our apartment. So we just went and ate then we had to go do a report and go over to the stake center to watch the cultural celebration for the Mexico City Temple rededication. It was a really good program. Yesterday we were able to attend the temple rededication. President Eyring and Elder Holland came and did it and I learned a ton from their talks! Elder Holland explained something about section 2 of Doctrine and Covenants that I had never really thought about before. It talks about the promises of the children made to their fathers, but have we ever stopped to think about what those promises were? Elder Holland explained that in the pre existence we knew that many of our brothers and sisters were not going to have the privilege of living in a gospel dispensation, so we promised them that we would do the temple work for them so that they could have  the same privileges as us. I hadn’t ever really thought about the coming of Elijah with that much importance before. As far as the missionary work goes this week was awesome even though we didn’t have that much time to actually be doing it. There is a promise from Elder Nelson that if we visit the less active members baptisms will double, so we were looking for less active families in order to try that promise. We saw some really cool miracles where God guided us to some people that are ready to accept the gospel. Thanks to that we were able to find 8 new investigators and 5 of them accepted a baptismal date! I´m really excited to teach all the people we found in this coming week! Also the baptism of Beatriz is scheduled for this Sunday, so we are really excited for that! Well I´m doing well and the work of the Lord is progressing well here in Cuautitlán, México! I love you lots and hope you all have an awesome week!

Love,

Elder Black

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Relaxing in the super nice hospital room.

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Adventure in the hospital.

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Labor Day cookout in Mexico.

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Tacos de Carnitas (goes with picture from two weeks ago).

A Great Week

Well, yeah the sickness is over. It lingered around for a few more days but I feel fine now. I´m pretty lucky though because that was really only the 2nd time I have really gotten sick in the mission. Thanks a ton for the package! I especially enjoyed the root beer barrels! It got here in good condition, they didn’t open it or anything. There’s a shoe repair shop right by our apartment, so I’ll just take my sandals over there don’t worry about sending new ones. Haha Mom, just so you know, there’s no applesauce or toasters here! They actually sell toast in packages at the store, but it is more just like really hard bread. No I don’t need a filter bottle, this is really not something that happens all the time. We just drink bottled water. They sell giant jugs of water that last us for a pretty long time for drinking water.

This week has been really great! We found a new investigator that is super prepared to receive the gospel. His name is Faustino and he came here just last week to work and is living with a member family in our ward. They introduced us to him and he readily accepted an appointment. When we got there, he had just gone to the store, so we taught one of the less active uncles a lesson while we were waiting for him to get there. It turns out that that was just the thing he needed to decide to come back to church. He didn’t end up making it this week, but we are hoping that he will start coming soon. When we went to teach him, Faustino had read the pamphlet of the Restauracion that we left him and he understood very well. He accepted a baptismal date for October 11 and came to church on Sunday. He told us after the services that he had been trying to develop more faith and he feels like God has answered his prayers leading him to us and in church they talked a lot about faith and he told us that that was exactly what he needed to hear. He said that that reaffirmed his testimony that God loves him and that now he knows that this church is where he needs to be. Beatriz didn’t make it to church this week. I think we might have to postpone her baptism until the 20th of September so we can teach her a little more and she can be a little better prepared for her baptism. But she is still really excited and she loves the gospel because she has seen so many changes in herself since she started reading the scriptures and coming to church. Also Elder Huxford and I are really excited for the zone because we are putting in practice a plan to help them apply the zone meeting. On Saturday we held a meeting with the district leaders in our zone and had a little council to help the zone progressed. We also presented a few ideas we had. We want to help the zone to develop more faith by trying the promises of the profets and apostoles. One promise is that if we work together with the members to visit the less active members then baptisms will double. So we decided to have a few little competitions in the zone to help the missionaries apply that. This week we are doing a competition to find as many new less active members as we can, then the next week will be to contact references and the third week have lessons with members present. We think it is going to be a good progression to help the missionaries see how they can receive references by visiting less active families and then teach those people together with the members to help to progress to a baptism. Also, I wanted to see if you all can help me out and look for promises from the profets and apostoles about missionary work, since we really don´t have time to look around much on the internet. That would be awesome if you could send me a few quotes of principles with a promise and the talk reference! Also I was just wondering, is Aaron on the same time schedule as me or is it a different time zone? Also, I thought it was kind of funny because we didn’t even know that today was Labor day, but I guess we just have this kind of American spirit in us and it just occurred to us this week to borrow a charcoal grill from some members and have a barbeque with the Elders from the other ward! So we grilled up some hamburgers and sausages! It was super awesome and we got some good use out of the steak seasoning you sent a while back! Well, I am just loving life in the mission field down here in Mexico! Me and Elder Huxford make things pretty fun! I’m super excited for the temple rededication that is going to be this Sunday, so I’ll let you know how it goes! I love you lots and hope you have an awesome week!

Love,

Elder Black